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Things run relatively smoothly overall, but they could be vastly improved if there were more communication channels and if more people in the company felt like HR personnel were more approachable and easier to talk to.
The Creation of Strategic Plans
So many things go into the creation of a strategic plan, that it is often very difficult to know where to even begin to make one, but this is one of the most important and helpful areas for anyone who is in HR, especially in a large company where planning is needed. The difficulty of it, though, is one reason why so many businesses do not have their own strategic plan. Some think they do not need one, especially if the business they are running is relatively small. Others find that the task is too daunting, and because they cannot see a good starting point, they assume the task is too hard and that it will take too long, so they find reasons to rationalize why they do not need to have a plan, after all (Bechtell, 1995).
However, every good Human Resource department needs a strategic plan for the business overall. This department often deals with what the best fit for the company would be, and it has to deal with that in the context of best practices for the company and the industry. Balancing these things can be very delicate, but it has to be done in order to be successful. A strategic plan is often used to do this kind of thing, which is why HR is so involved with the strategy and planning of a company, whether it is large or small or in-between.
Too often, company HR departments make excuses for themselves and for the others in the company, and they find reasons not to create a strategic plan. They keep putting it off until it is basically forgotten about. Companies that do this are not doing any favors for their employees or for the communities they live and work in (Bechtell, 1995). They do not realize the importance of their strategic planning, and because of that they also do not see how much benefit that planning can give to the surrounding community that the company is a part of. There are definite differences between those companies that have a strategic plan and those companies that do not. It is one of the most important documents an HR department can ever create, and those people who realize its significance early on in the careers they create for themselves will be much better off than those who work for years and years before they see any advantages to strategic planning (Bechtell, 1995).
An HR department with a strategic plan has many goals and values, along with a clear direction to take for the future (Bechtell, 1995). Everything about that business is spelled out carefully, and it is designed to work with the least amount of trouble and the lowest number of problems. Because of this, businesses that have strategic plans in place have fewer employee problems and fewer difficulties with the surrounding community than those that do not have this kind of plan in place (Bechtell, 1995).
Also, businesses that have strategic plans have fewer conflicts internally, because all of the ways individuals are supposed to act, and what they are supposed to do, have already been clearly spelled out for them. As long as they know and follow the rules, there are few issues that have to be addressed. This is also very true in times of any kind of business crisis, since contingency plans within a strategic plan are designed to help a business get through whatever kind of problem it might be facing, which could include everything from the threat of takeover to a natural disaster (Bechtell, 1995).
Naturally, a smaller business will probably have a smaller strategic plan than a larger business. There are fewer things to worry about in a business that's much smaller, at least from the standpoint of the most important issues, which are people, profits, and possessions (Bechtell, 1995). That does not always make the running of the smaller business on a day-to-day level any easier than the running of the large one, but it does help with the fact there are fewer and smaller categories to deal with when a strategic plan for HR is created. Whether the business is small or large, though, creating a strategic plan and knowing what should be in it can put a business quite a bit ahead of its rivals who have not bothered to take the time to create strategic plans for their businesses.
Figuring out where to start with a strategic plan can be difficult, but there are always ways to pick a place and get moving. One of the first things that has to be done when creating a strategic plan is to determine who will be doing the work (Bechtell, 1995). This is often done through the decision of the owner or manager, since he or she is generally the one who makes the decision that a strategic plan needs to be created for the business. Once this decision has been made, the manager can then decide how the plan should be created, and by which people within the company. Often, the creation of a plan falls to the HR department because they have the largest body of knowledge as to how the company actually works and what regulations and rules must be followed.
One of the best ways to decide who will work on the project, though, is by committee. While it is definitely true that the manager could do all the work himself and just present the plans to his employees, it is often more democratic and also more acceptable if decisions regarding what to put in the plan are done by a larger group of people (Bechtell, 1995). Often, this group includes the manager, but using a group approach helps to indicate to the employees that the input and ideas they have are valid and important (Bechtell, 1995).
Individuals from the HR department are generally the majority of those people included in strategic planning, but adding other employees can give insight that would not have otherwise been available. The reason behind this is that HR is such a big part of the business environment, and that department works with all the employees, helping to bridge the gap between them and the employers, but other employees can have opinions and ideas about issues that HR might not see or be familiar with. Focusing on strategic issues, and knowing what strategy to employ at a certain time, is vital for individuals in the HR department in order to keep their department and the rest of the company working properly.
Another important reason for using a group approach to the idea of strategic planning is that people come from all kinds of life experiences and backgrounds, and the diversity that is seen in a group of people often works to generate more ideas and opinions that are related to personal experience and that can be helpful in the creation of a strategic plan to keep the HR department moving forward (D'Aveni, 1994). One individual would not necessarily be able to easily acquire as much experience as could be found in a large group, and therefore the group generates a lot more ideas about what should go in the strategic plan (D'Aveni, 1994). Too large of a group, though, could create just as many problems as too small of a group, because dissent would be a bigger concern.
There are no specific regulations as to how many people should be included within an HR group when creating a strategic plan for a business. This often depends on how big the organization or company itself actually is. A business that has just 50 employees may have a five-person group, where a bigger company with 500 employees may have a group of 20 or more people, and they may come from HR and other areas of the company. There are no absolutes, though, and it is generally left to the discretion and opinion of a manager or owner as to how large a group is utilized for the task of the creation of a strategic plan for the HR department and the rest of the company (D'Aveni, 1994).
Once a group is assembled, they do not have to be the only people that ideas can come from. All of the employees can be encouraged to voice their ideas in various ways, and this can also help to get them more involved with the people in the HR department, fostering a more accepting attitude within the company (D'Aveni, 1994). For example, company meetings could be held where any employees wishing to contribute could come and share ideas, opinions, and grievances with management and the group who is working on the strategic plan in order to…[continue]
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